Moscow to ban smoking in restaurants, pubs by 2014

Moscow to ban smoking in restaurants, pubs by 2014

PanARMENIAN.Net - Moscow authorities plan to ban smoking in restaurants and pubs by 2014 and increase penalties for drinking alcohol in public places, according to a draft plan published on the website of the city's department of economic policy and development, RIA Novosti reported.

“The ban on smoking in public places will be introduced gradually. In 2012 a total ban on smoking is planned in educational and healthcare facilities, places of culture, state offices and public transportation. In 2013-2014 the ban will be extended to all workplaces, pubs and restaurants,” it said.

In addition, 20 percent fewer licenses to sell alcohol will be granted in 2012-2014.

It is also expected to increase the fine for drinking alcoholic beverages, including beer, in public places to 1,000 rubles ($33) from 100-300 rubles currently.

More adults smoke in Russia than in any other heavy-smoking country in the world, the World Health Organization concluded in a report released last year.

Nearly 40 percent of the country's 143-million-strong population were smokers, it said.

Smoking-related diseases kill as many as 350,000-500,000 Russians every year, Russian officials say.

In 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin approved a government anti-smoking program that aims to reduce the number of adult smokers 25 percent by 2015.

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